I haven't seen Brokeback Mountain yet, but I've enjoyed some of Ang Lee's earlier films, and I can only assume all of the accolades heaped upon the film aren't just some conspiracy of patronage. I'm hopeful, not just because a gay love story is getting mainstream exposure, but that it's seen within a quality piece of work.
The queer film genre has typically consisted of nothing more than B-movie melodrama, and rarely has anything of artistic merit emerged. Just annoying bromides and tirades, with plenty of overwrought self-pity thrown in.
"Brokeback," meanwhile, features characters not born of stereotype, or so I assume. God help Jake Gyllenhaal if he breaks out in a show tune while sitting around the campfire.
Speaking of Hollywood's newest "it boy," I've spent time at his home before. Seriously. He was only about 17 or 18...
Regrettably, there's nothing lurid to report. His mother, Naomi Foner (who wrote the screenplay for the River Phoenix movie "Running on Empty,") was one of my instructors at USC, and she liked to have classes meet at her house.
And I thought she was the one I needed to impress.
*** Syriana comes highly recommended from this quarter. Not that it's especially entertaining, but it's very smart, meticuoulsly researched and professionally done, on all counts. Regardless of what you think about George Clooney and his politics, he deserves considerable credit for choosing substance over style in mapping out his career. What other leading man can you say that about these days? (Johnny Depp, perhaps, though his recent choices are suspect).